The success and failure of any business depends on getting known. In other words, what will determine your success parameter is simply – spreading awareness about your products or services to your potential customers. Everyone knows that, right! Yes, very few startups actually assign a budget for marketing. For most, the thinking is, ‘We have a great idea. It’s new and exciting. People will find us. YES, IT IS A GREAT IDEA! BUT IT IS OUTDATED AND WON’T WORK ANYMORE!
Of course, as a small business with limited cash flow, it is difficult to take the plunge into spending precious money on advertising. But, even though, it may seem at the bottom of the spending hierarchy. Without advertising, no business can ever succeed. Also, there is no definite measure of the ROI for advertising. All these are contributing factors for startups deciding against advertising.
It is totally understandable. But, press and publicity are the things that is worth what it costs! Also, if it costs you nothing, it is surely worth nothing. Good advertising will surely cost you. But, why is this expenditure necessary, that’s the question.
Consider a scenario, your company manufactures the best mint chocolates in Mumbai’s suburb Andheri. People from the surrounding areas sing praises of your quality. BUT! How will your customer base increase beyond suburban Mumbai or for that matter western Maharashtra? Awareness is key and to create awareness, you have to spend on marketing activities. But waiting for the right time or investing a crores aren’t your only options. Good thing since, if you’re a startup, you likely don’t have that kind of time or money anyway.
Here, then, are four moderate to inexpensive things your startup can do to get noticed and start generating some buzz in the market.
Firstly, one of the most important thing is budget. You have to make an honest judgement of how much you can spend. You can work with 50,000 one time or 5,00,000 a month for a year. But, you need to understand which is your league.
Tip 1: Pay for social media.
Although, social media is supposedly free. Boosting a Facebook post or promoting a tweet can enhance your visibility exponentially. This exercise not only improves your reach, it also brings new customers and followers.
Tip 2: Invest in media gimmicks.
Wear your ‘thinking cap’ and spend money—or give it away—to grab public attention. Holding a contest which promises to give them air tickets or maybe host a dinner. Members of the media and the public are more likely to pay attention when there’s something in it for them. If you have a good idea, you can make some waves for as little as 500.
Tip 3: Google ads and content marketing.
Many customers know what they want and they’re looking on search engines like Google or Bing. They sell ads. Those ads, which get your name directly in the face of consumers, work. There are experts–both at the websites and at independent places–who can help.
Tip 4: Hire a publicist or media relations pro.
The truth is that even the Times usually doesn’t discover new things on its own. Usually, the invisible hand of a publicist is at work. Experienced and reliable agencies are experts in your market. One such advertising agencies is The Uncommons Design. Our strong team has an unflinching expertise on managing marketing exercises for startups.